What Are The Common Criminal Cases That You Handle?
The most common types of criminal defense cases we handle are drug cases, whether that be possession or possession with intent to deliver, DWIs (Driving While Intoxicated), Thefts, Robbery and assaultive offenses.
What Are The Top Misconceptions About Being Arrested For A Crime?
The most common misconception that I run into is people who think that just because they are arrested, and they police did not follow certain protocols, the case should be dismissed. People believe that if their rights were not read to them at the time of arrest, or if the police were rude to them, that the case should automatically be dismissed. Also, people believe that if they were not shown a copy of the arrest warrant, the case should be thrown out immediately; it does not work that way.
How And When Do Miranda Rights Come Into Play In A Criminal Case?
When it comes to Miranda rights, it is very common to have somebody walk into our office, and say, “Hey, I was arrested this weekend for a ______________, and the police put me in handcuffs. Nobody ever read me my rights through the whole thing, so that means that they can’t charge me. Am I right?” That is not right. The law says the police only have to read you what we refer to as “Miranda” rights in the event that they want to question you and then use your answers to those questions at trial, or if the police want to question you and then use your answers to obtain further evidence against you. There are no requirement that the police read you your rights simply for the sake of reading you your rights or simply because you were arrested. Too many times people think it should happen just like on TV, but that’s not correct.
How Do People Unintentionally Incriminate Themselves In A Criminal Case?
The most common way people unintentionally incriminate themselves is by talking too much. Most law enforcement agencies use video cameras in their cars at all times. Those cameras are on for each stop. There is a recording throughout the entire arrest, including any trips to the hospital. The cameras also record the trip to the jail. Some of the officers now have body cameras that record audio or audio and video both. Many people tend to think they can talk their way out of the situation they are in, or they believe that if they just keep talking, maybe things will just go away.
The other thing commonly seen is when somebody is placed in the back of a police car and they do not realize those videos are still running. The arrested person will start talking to a friend at the same time of the arrest, or start mouthing off to the officer, even though they are not asked any questions at this time. The arrested person will give information that is later used against them by the prosecution without even realizing what they are saying.
In addition to talking too much to the police when arrested, the jails now have recording devices on phone calls. Therefore, when someone makes a telephone call to their friend, spouse, mom, dad, or whomever, they start telling what they have been doing that lead to this arrest. They will mention what they did at the bar, and how much they had to drink, and because that is not an interview by the police, it is just somebody making an unsuspecting call, the prosecutor can use that information with whatever they say in the call.
There is a recording when a person makes one of those calls from jail that says the call is being recorded, but many people disregard that warning. The prosecutors may use those recordings, and listen to those recordings. Those recordings are used during negotiations, and at trial. Sometimes a client, that even though they did not say anything to the officer during the arrest will then get to jail and make a phone call where they talk about everything. The prosecutor can use this information (and often does) when we go to trial. That recording of the client’s own words saying what they have been up to can be used as evidence.
What Are The Common Ways People Unintentionally Incriminate Themselves Or Hurt A Pending Case?
By far, the most common way that people incriminate themselves or hurt a pending case is by talking about it too much. People have a tendency to either try to explain things to the officer when they’re being arrested and they end up saying things that they shouldn’t, or they have a tendency to want to try to help the officer and be the nice guy and so when questions are asked, they tend to answer those questions which most of the time your lawyer would advise you not to. Post-arrest, it’s the same thing. After the case is pending, people tend to talk about their cases to friends, family and a lot of times, they do that right after they’re arrested when they make a phone call from jail.
It’s really common, for family to ask, “Well, what happened?”, and so they start talking about it. All of those phone calls are recorded, and so there it is, in your own words, explaining exactly what happened or at least close to what happened, or what you think happened at that point, and inevitably, people say things that end up coming back to hurt them on the back end. Things that if they had not said, it would make the prosecution’s job a lot tougher but they end up basically giving a confession without intending to.
For more information on Common Criminal Offenses In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.
Get your questions answered - Call now for a case evaluation (806) 368-8714.